Thankful to Gather

This is the power of gathering, it inspires us to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful. In a word more alive.
— Alice Walker

Gathering together, connecting, laughing, having face to face conversations, enjoying delicious food, sharing our lives, creating memories to savor. These are the ingredients that make the Foodie Insta-meets such marvelous occasions.

As the end of 2017 draws ever closer and I reflect back on the memories that I've made and those I am deeply thankful for some of the ones that are most treasured in my heart are the Foodie Insta-meets that were hosted by Gather and Savor. These gatherings have been the embodiment of "gathering and savoring". So many of the people that I initially met through Instagram and then connected with in real life have become some of my most treasured and special friends. It makes my heart feel so very full and blessed. It has been amazing to see so many of you connect as well and begin to forge friendships, what an incredible gift that is!

We had our very first Foodie Insta-meet at 1898 Public House in April followed by several more throughout the summer and early Fall. It's been such a joy to host them at Clover, Downriver Grill and the Hotel RL restaurant.  I love feeling that sense of community and connection with others even if you've only just met, don't you? You know how when you spend time with certain people, you just have a grand time and leave feeling filled up? That's how I feel after an Insta-meet. It's not just my stomach that's full, I also leave with a full heart and I don't know about you but I absolutely love that!

Thank you to each and every one who has come to one of these gatherings,  it has been an honor and a blessing to spend an evening with you. I am already looking to and dreaming and scheming about the gatherings we will have in 2018. Until then, keep on making those connections and eating delicious food as you "gather and savor".

The images and testimonies below so beautifully capture the heart of enjoying a sense of community together while sharing an evening of our lives with one another over a delicious meal:

I’m grateful to be part of the insta-meet food events hosted by Sarah from Gather and Savor. It’s a great time for food bloggers and foodies alike to connect and feel included in our community. It’s amazing to be part of the up and coming food scene and learn about fresh ideas from the talented chefs in Spokane. Sarah pays special attention to details, from the menu to the decor. The most important part is she always makes an effort to include everyone. Whether you like to eat food, blog about it, snap photos, or enjoy being around people who want to foster the food community that is growing at a fast pace in Spokane, Gather and Savor brings people together and is putting forth a tremendous effort to bring awareness to the Inland Northwest culinary excellence. For that I’m proud to know Sarah as a friend and fellow foodie.
— Jackelin of @bairnise

The insta-meet was such a fun, unique experience to meet other Spokane foodies and entrepreneurs. With this crazy social media culture you can accumulate all of these internet friends and followers, but who are they really?! The insta-meets provide a unique experience to connect a face and personality to the insta-feed and actually meet the person behind the photos! And another best part (because there are multiple best parts) is that you get to eat at delicious, local restaurants and talk for hours with people who are as obsessed with food as you are.
— Erica of @itsaflavorfullife
Insta meets have been awesome for me. You get to go to fantastic restaurants, talk with interesting people with similar interests, eat delicious food, and make connections. They’ve introduced me to new people, new restaurants, and best of all, allowed me to make new friendships. From my first experience at Clover, down to the last meet at the RL, I’ve always felt welcome, loved, and I’ve enjoyed them all. I highly recommend making it to the next Insta Meet, you won’t regret it.
— Connor of @foodable_spokane
I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to connect with talented and empowering individuals, all thanks to Gather & Savor events (such as Insta-meets). Life is busy; having the chance to hang out with all of your friends, make new friends, explore the city, and eat tasty food— all in one evening— is incredible. Sarah not only hosts events, she brings community to local businesses. With social media, such as Instagram, becoming more saturated, it’s encouraging to see and meet others face-to-face. It’s the perfect escape for my busy life.

— Rose of @rosehootondesign

All of the beautiful images for this post were provided by Jennifer Debarros. Jennifer is a Spokane based photographer. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook and be sure to check out her website